Around Paris – the Château de Malmaison and the Musée de la Toile de Jouy

January 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Museums and Exhibitions | Leave a comment
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Having had enough of the big city life the day before, I gladly accepted the invitation of my hostess to explore a few places outside Paris the following day. Since the weather wasn’t the best, we were looking to keep ourselves occupied indoors. While there was a fibery treat to look forward to in the afternoon, we first headed to the Château de Malmaison, famous for having been home to the Empress Josephine for a while. What I found was a beautiful house, surrounded by a beautiful garden:

French history is definitely not my strong suit, so a lot of that part of the visit went straight over my head. But I do enjoy looking at furniture and decorations from different periods, and the château is a great showcase for that. As usual, in between the furniture there was some embroidered upholstery as well as the odd tapestry on the wall. The house is lovingly decorated and a joy to see. After we finished our tour, the rain had stopped and we had the opportunity to take a short walk through the beautiful garden as well.

The visit planned for the afternoon was for the Musée de la Toile de Jouy. On our way there we drove through Versailles, and I had the opportunity to have a look at the famous castle. It is huge, and I’ll save a visit there for another time.

Jouy used to be one of the centres of fabric printing in France, and the museum shows the history of the industry as well as lots of samples of the results. You can take a virtual tour through the permanent exhibition here. I always enjoy the technical displays showing the process of making those printed fabrics. As a special treat, a video shown in a projection room in the basement shows a printer printing multicoloured fabric using the old technology. A special exhibit concentrated on rural motifs that were used on those fabrics. Add a very tempting museum shop, and you have a great outing for any textile lover.

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